Prepare Yourself for University – What no one tells you!

Hello everyone! I thought I would do a post all about how to prepare yourself for a university life and becoming more independent as it is rather different to living at home. I really wish I had prepared myself more for starting university as I got the shock of my life when I arrived and my parents left me all alone.

Really hope you enjoy this post and find it useful!


Start to cook for yourself!

You might be thinking, “it’s fine, I’m pretty sure I know how to turn the oven on and throw in some frozen chips etc.” This may work for the first few weeks of cooking for yourself but there comes a time when you crave a good, healthy, wholesome meal that didn’t come out of the freezer. 

Picture courtesy of @aliceliveing on instagram!

Being able to make your own meals from scratch that are healthy and make your flat mates jealous is such an essential skill for university. Luckily I cooked a lot for myself before I moved out but since living on my own, I have explored many dishes that are super easy to make and are so good for me! Start now and discover your love for cooking!

Do the washing!

Not going to lie, I did not do a lot of my own washing before I came to university. The only time I did do any washing was when I had to get it out of the washer and hang it up on the line. Let me tell you now, washing all your own clothes is not fun so I would highly suggest to start early and get used to it.

However, saying that, it does feel strangely rewarding to come back from the laundry room and have lovely clean clothes. Always a silver lining!

Push yourself!

This is something I was wish I had done before coming to university. I was never very good at conversational skills and kept to myself a lot. When I came to university, socialising and talking to new people was a whole other concept to me. I came to campus as a really shy, introverted  Irish girl who couldn’t hold a decent conversation for more than 3 minutes.

I wish that I pushed myself more to open up to people and learn how to talk to new people before coming to university as I know for a fact this would help me make friends quicker and not feel so nervous about the situation. You could do this by joining a club in your hometown so that you can familiarise yourself with talking and socialising with people you have never met before.

Be more independent!

The above pointers all kind of link to this one but I want to speak about this one more generally. What I mean about being more independent is not relying on the people at home to do things for you like cook, clean, washing the clothes, do the food shopping etc.

Before I moved out of my home, I made the conscious decision to do more things for myself. I generally was already quite independent but I wanted to make sure that I could handle the things that my mum or dad would normally help out with. For example, the summer before university started, I started to do the food shop by myself instead of my mum and I going together. It was hard shopping for five people but it definitely prepared me for when I started to do my own shopping. Another independent task I started to do for myself was the dreaded…booking your own doctors appointment. I know, I know, it seems scary but, that is what independence feels like sometimes!

 


All jokes aside, becoming more independent before coming to university 100% helped with the transition. It may seem awful to start with but it has to happen sometime, so why not start now?

I hope you enjoyed this post and find it helpful! See ya next time – Lauren x

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

– Coco Chanel-

Get Ready With Me For the Week Ahead!

Hey everyone! I hope you are all having an amazing weekend. Some people dread the weekend coming to a close and we all have experienced the Sunday night blues when you know that you have a long week ahead of you.

I still sometimes experience this but ever since starting university, I love using my Sunday to relax but to also prepare myself for Monday morning. Keep reading to find out what I do!


Meal Prep!

As I am currently on my first professional practice as a trainee teacher, finding time during the week to make my lunches everyday is quite hard as I don’t return back to my flat until 6pm. This is why meal prepping is so handy. 

On a Sunday night, I dedicate at least 30 minutes or an hour to prepare my lunch for the week. This means that when I get back from school, I don’t have to worry about taking time out of my lesson planning to make my lunch for the following day. Even if you are not on placement, preparing your lunch or dinner for the week means that you have so much more time to work or write your assignments.

Disclaimer – my meal preps do not look as aesthetically pleasing as this. Thanks Google!

 

To Do List

As I have mentioned in one of my previous blogs, I am a huge fan of diaries. It wasn’t until I started university did I fully appreciate keeping a to do list in my diary. 

Every Sunday morning, I sit in the catalyst, open my diary and plan out what I need to get done this week, when I can fit in a gym session and what lessons I am going to be teaching. In a weird way, making a to do list for the week makes me feel less stressed about all I have to do. I can see what needs to be done and I have made sure that I have to the time to complete them whilst also fitting in when I can do the things I enjoy.

What my Sunday mornings look like!

 

Pack!

This one may sound very condescending and bring you back to the days in high school when you forgot a book and your teacher said, “did you not pack your bag the night before?” Just me?

Anyway, I always make sure that I pack my bag for the following day. On a Sunday, I check that I have all the books I need for classes throughout the week meaning I have time to go to the catalyst and get any books that I do not have.

Packing your bag the night before also allows for extra time in the morning to make a good breakfast rather than rushing around trying to find a missing book.

My school bag is not as nice as this and so, Google images comes to the rescue once again!

 

Mentally Prepare Yourself 

Many people find Sunday nights quite stressful because of the looming week ahead and this is not a good way to start your week. 

As well as preparing everything and making sure I have everything sorted for the week, I also try to prioritise some ‘me’ time. This usually consists of going for an early morning or late evening walk, going to the gym, watching a TV show or reading a book. I try to do at least three of these things on a Sunday to give myself enough time to relax and calm my thoughts before starting a busy week!

One of my early, Sunday morning walks!

And that is how I prepare myself for a busy week! I genuinely love my Sunday ‘ritual’ because I feel so much more organised and relaxed about Monday morning.

Remember, the start of the week does not have to be so horrible, take it as an opportunity for a fresh start, a clean slate and not look at it so negatively. I hope you enjoyed this blog, see ya next time!

“Have a wonderful Monday and make the saying by Dennis P. Kimbro: “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it” your motto.”

-sweetytextmessages.com-

 

The faces of Edge Hill University – Unsung Heros

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The people who spend every working day at Edge Hill university have alot on their plate. Everyone from the canteen staff in the hub to facilities management technicians work tirelessly to make Edge Hill the best university that it can be. Because there is so many it is often easy to over look staff on the ground. In this blog I want to pay tirbute to three staff groups that I feel often go unnoticed in their daily duties.


Site Services – Housekeepers

135 house keepers work five days a week to clean flat kitchens and accomadation halls. These are the people who literally pick up after you. They are first on this list because they have a demanding job. They have my thanks.


Facilities Management – Post

Working in the durning center from early in the morning to late in the evening the postal team deal with not only staff mail but student mail too. Some of the friendlies faces you will ever see in there. Big thank you to all of them for their hard work.


Respective Departments – Admin Staff

Each department provides administration staff to answer questions from students. I have to give my thanks especially to Sally and Sharon from EHU Computing. Always there to help, no matter what the problem. A tough job, done right.


These three groups of staff work to make this university amazing, thank you to all of them. If you see them please do the same, without their hard work that sometimes goes unoticed, we would be alot worse off. Thats all from me.

If you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Working for Edge Hill University – Students working for Students

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Working at Edge Hill university during your study is a rewarding experience with benifits for everyone. You provide a valuable service for the university, such as blogging, notetaking or even guiding prospective applicants. In return the univeristy will weigh your pockets down with the standard casual rate of £8.66 per hour. So for half a days work (12 Hours) you are looking at over £100 into your pocket. But there is many more reason for you to consider working for the univeristy, here are my top three.


Sense of involvement

Working with the university gives you the ability to infulence the university directly. With a sense of involvement you will feel that the university is suddenly alot smaller and the community will become tight knit. That involvement in the university will make your time here much more enjoyable, I know it has for me.


Great experience

Because the university has so many roles available you will always find something with transferable skills into your chosen course. Every role teaches professionalism and builds confidence. The supervisors are always there to help you no matter what, and the structure in the university is perfectly setup to encourage communication.


Make yourself stand out

I cant stress enough how much having job experience listed on my CV has helped me get jobs outside of the University. Listing your employeer is only half of making yourself stand out, having refrences from the University is the other. Having a job at Edge Hill University will make you stand out among any crowd.


If you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Tackling those pesky assignments! 💪🏽📝

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After just handing in one of the hardest assignments of this year, I feel like I didn’t do too badly. If you put in the prep and don’t leave it until last minute you’ll be surprised how much better you’ll do. I’m going to give you an insight on what our assignments are like on Primary Ed , they differ per course, and some tips that have helped me stay a little ahead of the workload.

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Start early and get to the library! 📚
This year we have eight assignments that roll one after another, so you’ll always have your head in at least one assignment. Some people overlap the assignments and can do two at a time, those people are magicians. When I start a new assignment I get a gist of what it’s about and head to the library to get as many books out as I can on the topic. They want you to show wider reading so using books and journal articles are the best way to prove this, and also get a better understanding of what’s going on.

Know what you have to do before you start note taking. 📝
There’s no point taking notes without knowing exactly what you need to do. For example, the assignment title I’ve just submitted asked us to ‘evaluate’, meaning we need to find the strengths, weaknesses and any contrasting perspectives. I do two things. Either, take notes on different books and articles then grab four highlights and assign a topic to each colour like strengths are highlighted in pink, weaknesses in yellow etc. Then if you need to find any strengths you can look through all your pink highlighting. Or, the second thing I’ve discovered helps kill some time is to write all the strengths together (with the reference at the end so you don’t forget who said it) and just flick through those points when writing. I’ve used both of these methods and they both help speed up my actual writing of the assignment. It may feel like a lot of preparation but it helps if you know exactly what you want/need to say so you can write the assignment a lot quicker. 

Be disciplined, overlap if you can. 🔮
Like I said before, magicians. It’s hard for me to overlap assignments but it’s not impossible. I like to focus all my attention on one thing but if I absolutely had to I would work on another at the same time. Fortunately, they given you enough time between them, but only if you’re on the ball. If you leave everything to last minute you’ll be pulling all-nighters in the library, so try and be disciplined with your time management. Know how much time you can have to yourself but put time aside to get work your work done.

Write when you are ready. 🤓
Sometimes I’ve said to myself, just write your introduction then it feels like you’ve done something, but then it ends up being that much waffle you could pour syrup on it. It’s much better, like I said before, to write when you know exactly what you want to say.

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Edge Hill University offer workshops and services for students that are struggling with writing, referencing, note-taking and many more academic skills. They’re always around the library ready to answer questions. There’s a huge support system here at Edge Hill and I’m very grateful to be here.

Thanks for reading! Don’t hesitate to leave any questions ☺️

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What’s the First Week of Uni Like?

Hey everyone, since it’s the time of the year where prospective students are submitting applications for uni. I’m going to continue along the theme of some of my previous blogs talking about preparing for university, by talking about the first week, also known as Welcome Week.


If you choose to stay on campus walking into your new room for the first time is one of the craziest things, it’s exciting and scary in equal measure. The student realisation that your parents aren’t going to well, parent you all the time was for me a really surreal feeling. The next thing you will want to do is meet all your other flatmates, I already talked about this in a previous blog so I won’t go on but if there are people in the kitchen just talk to them, it makes life much less awkward in the coming days.


There is loads of stuff going on over Welcome week from fun day activities to events in the evening held in the SU. In my first year we had things like inflatables and mini gold during the day, and disco’s and dj’s like Kristian Nairn (Hodor from GOT) in the night. In the first week Edge Hill does go all out on its events so if you want to, go out and enjoy them because they are there for the students anyways! Don’t feel like you need to go out every night for the first week, I mean you can but, I’d rather not.


As well as the various events throughout the day. You will also begin your course, don’t worry though they ease you in nicely. I had a couple of lectures/classes where things were fairly casual, just talking about what we would be doing throughout the year, sorting timetables things like that. Nothing to warrant any studying or much work, yet. I do Film and TV Production and so we had a media challenge that we could take part in, just a basic ice-breaker to get us used to classrooms and our course mates etc.


Before you know it the first week will be over and you will probably be reasonably well settled in. It’s ok to still be adjusting as it’s a big change from home life, but if you are still struggling after a while then there are counselling services on campus that are available if you’re needing help. But overall the first week is chill just take it easy and hopefully enjoy it!

Jordan

welcome week poster

A look back on 2018 – My three top tips from the year past at EHU

A look back on 2018


2018 was an exciting year at Edge Hill University and I don’t think it would be complete if we didn’t take a look back over the last 12 months and give a few mentions to a few of the things that made everyone’s lives a little more special. So many things happened that you could be here til next year listing them so let’s keep this brief and drive right into, three top tips from the year past.


Shoot for the stars

In the year past we saw elections in March and in November at our students union. Big shout out to all of those who put themselves forward. I actually interviewed a number of candidates and heard their voices loud and clear. If there is one thing that people like Jack Fields, Molly Smallwood and Craig-Francis Meichan have shown its that speaking out for what you believe in will often yield many similar minds behind your cause.


Don’t leave it up to chance

Absolutely no point whatsoever in wanting something, but not badly enough to work for it. 2018 held many truths like this for me. I have to admit I didn’t work for much, maybe my license but that’s about it. If you want something then you need to get out there and fight for it. In fact i’m sick of saying it, I feel like my last 5 blogs have all touched on this, but trust me its important. I don’t know who needs to hear this, but just go do whatever it takes to get what you want.


Forget everything and be yourself

Right this one really goes out to you, yeah the one person who is reading this blog. No idea who you are, or how you even got here, but listen up. You might think this sounds corny or you might think it’s just a dumb piece of writing on the internet. You’re wrong. I’ve spent my whole life trying to fit my square personality into other peoples triangle shaped lives but in 2018 I stopped. I’ve never been happier to be myself and not care one bit about what others have to say behind my back. So, take my advice or don’t. Either way, I don’t really mind.


That’s everything. Just one more thing before you go.

Happy new year.

 If you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally.

Staying on course – Keeping your sights set on University

Staying On Course


Reminding yourself time and time again that every social event or 8 hour sleep that you miss is going to be worthwhile can be exhausting. Trust me. Keeping your eyes on the prize for months on end really can become a futile task, but there are a few ways that you can keep your sanity and almost live to tell the tale of how you got the grades you wanted, made your first choice and finally exited the vicious circle that is education before University.


Meet your deadlines

Deadlines exist for a reason. We all hate them, I actually think that if we didn’t have deadlines we would probably get our work done sooner, and better. The fact is, however, that we are usually given deadlines for our work. These deadlines are there to keep us in check, and as much as we hate them they cannot be ignored. Get your work done, and you won’t have to stress over it. Start things with plenty of time to spare, and finish up as soon as you can.


Study as much as you can

Exams are a killer. In fact if you study in the UK count yourself lucky. Some places, like my own Ireland, don’t use coursework based assessment and students have between 6 and 10 exams at the end of their final year that will determine what university they get into. Exams are great though. As much as you might protest about them don’t think of exams as a test of memory, think of them as a test of knowledge. If you are confident, and understand your course exams won’t be a problem. Finally, study how you learn. Youtube videos count as study if they are on the topic!


Relax, dont stress

Alright. So if you are meeting your deadlines, getting your work done well and on time and keeping up on your revision you have the whole assessment covered. But you cant let yourself burn out. If you end up feeling like the whole world is pushing down on you all you will be thinking about is how much you hate learning and that’s not what you hate. You hate feeling like you are learning for someone else. Take plenty of breaks, get good sleep and don’t put yourself out there for anyone else. Do your thing, for you.


That’s everything. If you want to learn more about dealing with stress you can check out my other blog post here.

Dealing with Stress at University – Stress is like the flu, everyone usually gets it

And if you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Living in halls or living off campus? 🤔🚗🛌

First things first, Merry Christmas! 
Why I’m writing this post on Christmas day is as baffling to me as it is to you, but here we are!

So I want to talk to you guys about the decision you may have to make about whether to live in halls or to live off campus. This could be an easy decision for some, but if you’re like me, it can be tough and may take a while for you to come to a decision. 🤔

Coming to university as a 22 year old and having the third years still be younger than you is amusing as it is saddening. So the idea of halls for me was a huge NO 🙅🏽. However, everyone I spoke to really urged me to live in halls for the first year. Their reasons were:

  • It’s close to your buildings, classes and the library.
  • It’s way more social living on campus and you’ll meet so many more people than you would living off campus.
  • It’s nice to move away from home for a little bit and learn to be independent.

I’ve already lived away from home and living away from my family is really nothing new to me, so being independent is something I’ve been for a long time. But it is a great way to learn some independence!

I was so against living with people aged 18-20 but I can say with all my trust and confidence it is the best decision I could have made. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely the Mum (I prefer ‘older sis’) of the flat, but everyone was right, it’s far more social and you meet some great people. 🥂

It’s nice if you start to feel homesick, or a little trapped, that you can wander into the kitchen and have a cup of tea or watch a movie with someone who is in the exact same boat as you. It really helps.

 It’s also only a 10 minute walk to my building and it’s a great feeling leaving a lecture or seminar and knowing you’ll be back in bed in no time. It’s a short walk to the library or The Hub if you need to get out of halls and need a little time to yourself. 🍃

The decision is, of course, up to you but as someone who struggled with deciding, I would urge you to try it. You have the ability to be put on a transfer list if you’re not happy with your halls or if you wish to change to off-campus, but I would say, try it.

I hope this has helped in some way in making your decision. It’s a hard one and I have to say if you are leaning towards living off campus, there are student houses that are lovely and really close to the University, but living on campus definitely has more pros! Thanks for reading ☺️

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Balancing your time – Work, play and study at Edge Hill University


Balancing time can be a challenge at the best of times. At university you might find you have less than you imagined, especially if you are trying to have a vibrant social life while working a part time job. I wanted to share three tips of mine to try and help you balance your time and keep yourself chilled out so you can be the best version of you.


Keep track

If you are trying to balance the time you have between a few tasks such as work and study you might find it easier if you keep a list or a schedule of the amount of time you have to dedicated to each. Maybe you will find you are spending way to much time on one.


Stick to your plans

If you make plans to do something you should stick to it. Even if that means going out. If you keep to your schedule you will find that you actually get more work done. Just because you go to the library for 6 hours doesn’t mean you get 6 hours work done. Most of the time you spend 5 and a half thinking about what else you could be doing instead.


Enjoy what you do

This is the hardest of them all but the most important. If you don’t actually like what you are doing then why would you ever want to do it. If you are working, work in a way that you like. If you are studying, then study how you enjoy doing it (Pro tip: Watch YouTube videos on the topic). Finally, if you go out then go out how you want. Don’t go to places you don’t want to be and drink what you want, not the strongest cheapest thing there is.


That’s everything. Take these three things and you will be happier, trust me. If you want to learn more about dealing with stress you can check out my other blog post here.

And if you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally